Ocean’s Eight – A Caper Comedy Sure to Make You Laugh

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ocean’s Eight (2018) – A Caper Comedy Sure to Make You Laugh 

Sometimes sequel films work, and other times they don’t. Sometimes they entertain, and sometimes they fail to connect with the audience. Whether or not the star-studded Ocean’s Eight is the former or the latter remains to be seen. Either way, we take a look at the story and my thoughts in this review.



Tess Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is about to be paroled following a con gone wrong during which she fell for the wrong guy. Now, with prison in her rear-view she’s ready to pretend to be a con artist gone good when in reality her biggest score is in the works. But first she must assemble a team.

First to arrive is her former “right hand,” Lou (Cate Blanchett), the one woman Tess trusts inexplicably. With Lou back in the fold, Tess tracks down the best fence (gone suburban housewife), Tammy (Sarah Paulson) she's worked with, and sets about finding the rest of her crew. With the team in place, all that’s left to do is begin the con…

In case you aren’t familiar with them, or you aren’t a fan of caper films, Ocean’s Eight is a kind of “sequel” (in a loose sense) to the George Clooney trilogy that begins with Ocean’s Eleven. Of course, like ‘Eight,’ those films also feature star-studded casts, sleek cons and witty dialogue. Beyond this, this female-led version breaks away from the classic vibes that is the typical ‘Ocean’ caper story. WARNING: some vague spoilers follow. Skip to the final paragraph if you don’t want spoilers!

There’s something about the caper film genre that's a kind of undefined entertainment, and even, sophisticated. Over the years, I’ve discovered some of my favorite “feel-good” films in this genre. These include The Italian Job and of course, this franchise. While this latest addition is different from the styling of the originals, it still entertains. Its greatest departure is in the plan-without-a-hitch “twist.” This script gives the appearance of a much more carefully planned con which I suspect is an underlying message that involves the gender of the characters. But then, that’s a write up for another day.


This element doesn’t really detract from the story, but because there isn’t a kind of what-just-happened-moment? the plot doesn't have the layers of its genre peers. Nonetheless this doesn’t mean Ocean’s Eight isn’t still a film to entertain. Quite the opposite. As is the Ocean family roll, the plot operates at a slower pace, but still holds our attention as we try and pay careful attention to details – and all those moving pieces. It’s the kind of film you can sit back and enjoy, but also be challenged to solve a puzzle. Because as any good caper film does, this one makes its viewer wonder how each piece works together.

Though Blanchett and Bullock are star-power enough, this piece also recruits Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and Anne Hathaway (in what seems like her first major role in a while). All of whom turn in wonderful performances. Oh, and period drama aficionados will recognize a certain actor better known as Mr. Thornton. Imperfect, yes, but for those of us looking for a “good time” movie, Ocean’s Eight fits the ticket nicely. It’s sleek and stylish, and explores the “underground” world of characters trying to remain under the radar, and the high-class world of wealth and sophistication. This means we see some beautiful fashion, and have a fun little adventure at the same time.

(Content: there is some profanity [including 1-2 F-words], and innuendo. The film is rated PG13.)

6 comments

  1. Wonderful review!!!

    I really, REALLY liked Ocean's 8!!! I'm a huge fan of the previous 3 Ocean's caper movies, and I thought they did the series justice while changing it up enough to be fresh and different. You're right, the details and pieces of the puzzle were something you had to watch closely --- I saw this one a second time, and I caught several little things I missed the first!

    Sandra Bullock has long been a favorite, and Cate is a brilliant actress (even though I haven't loved all of her role choices through the years). But, Anne Hathaway stole the show! She's just genuinely funny in this role. And, it's always a delight to see Richard Armitage :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (Thank YOU so much for taking the time to read, Courtney.)

      I did too. The day I went to see it was kind of weird (because, you know, life), so I suspect I'll enjoy it even more on DVD. Same as with your experience, I know I'll catch more in a re-watch too - I certainly do in many caper films. The first three are so much fun, and in the spirit of caper movie twists, I don't believe for a second you-know-who is dead. ;)

      Cate's roles aren't always my favorite either (I didn't love this character in fact), but she and Sandra are talented. It was SO much fun seeing Anne in a box office film. It feels like forever since last she starred in something, and I agree. She's great. (I also thought Mindy and her character were funny.)

      Delete
  2. As a lover of Ocean's Eleven, I've been sooo on the fence about this one! I do adore Cate Blanchett though, so I may have to give it a try! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know if you see this one what you think, Tracy! I'm a huge fan of Ocean's Eleven, too. So good. :)

      Thank you for reading.

      Delete
  3. I want to see this, but life intervened when it was in theaters, and now it's not playing near me anymore. Can't wait to see it on DVD. It certainly does look fun, both in trailers and your review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know about life intervening, Rachel - that was my lot with Peter Rabbit. (I give you permission to judge me on wanting to go see this one. ;D)

      Hope you enjoy this one if/when you see it on DVD (I think it arrives in September?) - and if you remember, let me know what you think.

      Delete

Have a thought? Don't be shy, go ahead and leave one... or two... or three! I reply to every comment. If you're new to the blog, please don't hesitate to introduce yourself and your blog - we love chatting around here!

Feedback and every comment is appreciated and read - I always leave a response; your opinions are respected and I ask that you show mine the same courtesy.

(If you post under “anonymous,” please leave a name. If you don't have a Google account, you can type your name into the Name/URL and if you have no site, just leave "URL" blank.)

If you are still reading my ramblings, thank you for following this little blog and for being one of its supporters. I’ve enjoyed getting to know each of you, friends!

Latest Instagrams

© Finding Wonderland. Design by FCD.